The demise of the dinosaurs may have been the result of a coordinated one-two punch.
Eruption activity in a volcanic region in present-day India appears to have increased around the time of the asteroid impact that preceded the Cretaceous extinction, scientists report in the Oct. 2 Science. The close timing between the two events leads the scientists to suggest that...
Scientists have long thought that in the supercold, perpetually dark, polar winter, life pretty much shuts down. With no sunlight, there’s no photosynthesis, so phytoplankton wouldn’t be active. That would cut off the base of the marine food web, and there would be no energy entering the system. Everything else would have to enter a resting state, the theories suggested. That would include...
Letters to the Editor
The July 25, 2015 Science News featured an in-depth look at new research on time. Andrew Grant explored why time marches...
Each second, more than 10 septillion (1025) antineutrinos race away from Earth and into space. That’s 100 trillion times as many antineutrinos as stars in the galaxy. But who’s counting?
Leave that to particle physicist Shawn Usman of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield, Va. In September in Scientific Reports, he and colleagues published...
The deadly magnitude 8.3 earthquake off the coast of Chile on September 16 sent an enormous pulse of water racing away from the quake’s epicenter, prompting an evacuation of more than 1 million Chileans. This surging seawater provided an unanticipated test for a new, faster way to forecast quake-generated tsunamis.
Using simplified mathematical estimates of how earthquakes trigger...
Exhausting all attainable fossil fuels would annihilate the Antarctic ice sheet and raise global sea levels by as much as 58 meters, more than the height of Niagara Falls, new research calculates.
Enough fossil fuels remain to release around 10,000 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. The future of Antarctic ice ...
Put it in the category of invisible but vital: The magnetic field that envelops the Earth shields life from harmful ions spat out by the sun. Although unseen, it’s not undetectable (try a compass); auroras displayed when geomagnetic storms hit the polar regions hint at its...
A powerful global magnetic field envelops Earth in a cozy blanket of protection against bursts of solar particles (see "The magnetic mystery at the center of the Earth"). But the solar system’s other rocky worlds aren’t so lucky.
Earth’s depths are a hellish place. More than 5,000 kilometers belowground, the iron-rich core scorches at temperatures comparable to the sun’s surface and crushes at pressures akin to the weight of 20 blue whales balanced on a postage stamp.
This extreme environment helps generate Earth’s magnetic field, the planetwide force that makes life on the surface possible. When the sun...
The biggest catastrophe in the history of life on Earth resulted from one of the most titanic volcanic outpourings on record, new research concludes.
At the close of the Permian period around 252 million years ago, more than 90 percent of all marine species and roughly 75 percent of all land species vanished. New high-precision analysis of ancient lavas determines this extinction...